Barbara Stastny, Vice President of the Zonta Club of Frederick, presents a check to Ed Hinde for SHIP (Student Homelessness Initiative Partnership) of Frederick County. This organization provides goodsand money to meet the needs of homeless students.
photo printed in the Frederick New Post
Barbara Stastny, Vice President of the Zonta Club of Frederick, presents a check to Beverly Grubbs for the Anne-Lynne Gross Breast Cancer Information Center at Frederick Community College.
photo printed in the Frederick New Post
Barbara Stastny, Vice President of the Zonta Club of Frederick, presents a check to Hermine Bernstein for Blessings in a Backpack, an organization that provides food for children in need to take home on the weekends.
Frederick Zontians are celebrating a milestone in May. The local chapter of Zonta International was chartered in 1930 - 80 years ago. Zonta International was founded in 1919 with the mission to improve the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy. The organization has supported projects in 46 countries. The name Zonta is derived from the Sioux Indian word meaning honest and trustworthy. Zonta's graphic emblem is a composition of Sioux symbols. On May 24, the Frederick club will hold its invitation only anniversary dinner at Homewood at Crumland Farms, where Zonta's twice-monthly meetings are held. Members, who are business and professional women, will invite prospective members to the dinner. Former members are also invited to attend.
article of Sunday, April 25, 2010 issue of the Frederick NewsPost
Courtesy photos Zonta Club of Frederick members pose with some entries from Art in the Park, an event the club began and has supported since 1947.
Frederick County women who hold executive positions, are business owners or are in one of the professions are eligible for membership. The late Helen Smith, a well-known local artist, and the late Mary Condon Hodgson, who has art spaces at Frederick Community College and Hood College, were members of Zonta. Aviatrix Amelia Earhart was also a Zontian and the international organization awards fellowships to assist graduate women pursuing an education in aeronautics.The Frederick chapter not only supports projects of Zonta International, but has long been actively involved in supporting nonprofit organizations and establishing community projects. It awards college scholarships to young women, including one in memory of the late artist Smith. "(Helen Smith) contributed original works of art at every Zonta auction we did until age 103," said Anne-Lynn Gross, publicity chairwoman for the anniversary dinner and a past president. Smith died in 1997 at the age of 103. The Jane M. Klausman scholarship goes to a young woman pursuing a degree in business. The local winner goes on to compete at the district and international levels. "The Young Women in Public Affairs scholarship is for junior or senior high school women who have college plans and do community service," Gross said. "Some years we have had a tough time choosing a winner." Through the decades
Zonta of Frederick's first project was a prenatal clinic, started in 1932. The clinic is shown in 1942.
The first major project the chapter undertook was establishing a prenatal clinic for indigent women in 1932. The clinic continued for 11 years until it was transferred to the Frederick County Health Department. In the 1940s, club members sold war bonds and savings stamps and wrote letters to the families of Frederick soldiers killed in action overseas. In 1947, they sponsored a playground arts and crafts show that today is Art in the Park
In 1946, Zonta of Frederick "adopted" an 11-year-old Dutch girl, named Loekie Deikman, at a cost of $180 per year. Gifts were sent and letters exchanged until Loekie finished school and became a teacher in Amsterdam.
"We're trying to keep it going," said Elizabeth Derr of Frederick, longtime member and former president. "We donate money for prizes and choose the winners." Derr, a nurse, was the recipient of a cash award that allowed her to attend a conference. Some of her coworkers were Zontians. "The attraction for me was getting to meet women in professions other than my own, and women who were the movers and shakers in the community," she said. Derr has met women around the world by attending seven international Zonta conferences.
Frederick County Zontians supported the war effort during World War II. Pictured are, standing from left,Marie Wilson Hodgson, Dorothy Carty and Miriam Apple. Seated, from left,are Marie Dixon Young,Cornelia Bjorlee, Hal Lee Ott, Hilda Croghan and Florence Garner
In the 1950s, Zonta Frederick, along with the Business and Professional Women's Club of Frederick, funded a full scholarship for a Korean girl to attend Hood College. In gratitude, the girl's mother sent a beautiful black lacquered jewelry chest to the club president. Since then, it's been passed from president to president and is now in the possession of Jeannine Jennings of Frederick. "It's very pretty, with mother-of-pearl inlay," said Jennings, who joined Zonta because she was impressed with the organization's service projects. "Sometimes the projects are tiny, but they do make an impact."
Charter members of Zonta of Frederick pose for a photo in 1955, the club's 25th year. From left are Nan Roderick, Elizabeth Schroeder, Hal Lee Ott, Helen Smith and Cornelia Bjorlee.
A recent project asked members to donate small gifts for the health department to give to Hispanic women who attended the prenatal clinic. "I wanted to be with this club because of its mission of improving the status of women worldwide," said Jennings, who joined six years ago. "And we do have fun, too.""
Jeannine Jennings, current Zonta Club of Frederick president, is seen with a black lacquerjewelry chest that was a gift to the club president by the mother of a Korean girl the club "adopted" and sponsored until she was 18. The jewelry chest is now passed from president to president with memorabilia inside. Staff photo by Travis S. Pratt
Since the 1950s, club members have volunteered as bell ringers and filled Christmas stockings for the Salvation Army. In 1975, they club underwrote the costs of a lighted and planted traffic island at the site of the water fountain at Seventh and Market streets. Three years ago, club members began a mentorship program for young women who have earned their Girl Scouts' Gold Award. Called Women of Achievement, the dinner program pairs the recipients with members who work in their intended profession. It's one way to encourage the next generation to become Zontians, Gross said. The Frederick chapter has about 20 members. "Years ago, before my time, they would have radio broadcasts about Zonta and making career choices," Derr said. Local Zonta clubs also support Zonta International projects, such as the Zonta International Strategies to End Violence Against Women program, which seeks to reduce the incidence of violence against women and girls, preventing the mother to child transmission of HIV in Rwanda, and the reduction of obstetric fistula and of maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity in Liberia. "Our common goal is to advance the status of women worldwide," said Gross, known as "the singing auctioneer." "We see the fruits from our labor," she said. When invited to attend a Zonta meeting in 1985, Gross said she was impressed with how members shared a common goal and worked as a team on projects. "It grew in my heart," she said. "You become more cognizant of what's going on in the world and what (Zonta) is doing for women.
Mark Trager, Director of Development for Heartly House spoke to the members of the Zonta Club of Frederick. Mr. Trager spoke about resources available through Heartly House and Heartly House’s future needs.